Mochlos (Crete) Excavation Project

COVID-19 NOTICE: Please be sure to reach out to the project contact to find out the status of their upcoming season. Many projects have cancelled fieldwork for 2020 and the information below may not reflect that.

This listing expired on May 30, 2021. Please contact; for any updated information.

Location: Mochlos, CR, GR

Season: June 14, 2021 to August 21, 2021

Application Deadline: April 1, 2021

Deadline Type: Exact Date


Program Type:

RPA Certified:

University of North Carolina at Greensboro, National and Kapodostrian University of Athens

Project Director:
Jeffrey S. Soles and Costis Davaras

Project Description:

The application deadline for this project has now passed and we have filled all available positions for volunteers. We would like to thank all who applied and urge you to reapply next year if we were not able to accept you this year.

The Greek-American Excavation at Mochlos, Crete, has received a two year permit from the American School of Classical Studies in Athens to resume excavations in 2021 and 2022. It anticipates final approval from the Greek Ministry of Culture and has scheduled the project to begin June 14 – assuming that Greece will have the Covid-19 pandemic under control by then and that all participants in the project will have been vaccinated against the virus. If not, we will shoot for July 1 as a start-up date.

The project has uncovered a Minoan town of the Neopalatial period, c. 1700-1430 BC, earlier remains from the Protopalatial period, c. 1900-1700 BC, and later 7th and 5th century remains on the summit of the island. It has been in the field since 1989, has published seven volumes to date, and completed work on two more. The goal of the 2021-2022 seasons is to complete excavation of three areas that we have already partially excavated in order to continue with their final publication. We are looking for volunteers to work on site, assisting trench supervisors, and others to assist with the processing of pottery and other finds in the INSTAP Study Center in Pacheia Ammos.

The three areas include areas that we have partly explored in the past, so we know that each has the potential to produce major discoveries. They include a well-preserved Middle Minoan building, the only one on the site (Pls. 1, 2).  Giorgos Doudalis, who will direct its excavation, believes it was preserved for nearly four centuries as a memorial building, perhaps honoring an important figure in the town’s history or its collective ancestors.
image.png Pl. 1
image.png Pl. 2
Another building, identified as C.9 (Pl. 3), is located alongside two specialist workshops and appears to be linked to them in some way. The workshops, which we have already excavated, are large-scale operations with full-time artisans producing high prestige goods that have a transcendent function in the political and religious life of Minoan society (like the Mochlos sistrum or ivory pyxis) and may be what are sometimes referred to as “retainer workshops,” i.e. those working for an elite person or government institution. Because of its unusual architecture and proximity to these workshops, we suspect the building has an administrative function and belongs to such a patron or overseer. In this case, there should be someone keeping records of what was being produced, as there was for the Zakros workshops which had an attached archive, so if we are correct C.9 might also contain Linear A tablets. A large dump covers much of the building and must be removed first.
image.pngPl. 3
The third area takes us out of the Bronze Age into the early Archaic period of the 7th century B.C. when renewed contact with the Near East and Egypt began a transformation of Greek society that was to culminate in the emergence of the polis. Natalia Vogeikoff-Brogan has uncovered several structures of this period on the summit of the island, including an oikos with a hearth, where imported Milesian wine amphoras and high-quality Corinthian pottery were located (Pl. 4). Natalia will continue the excavation of these buildings, which extend to the north, in an attempt to discover more about the people who lived in this area and what happened to them when the area was abandoned in the 6th century.
image.pngPl. 4
If interested in applying, please contact Dr. George Doudalis and/or Mr Luke Kaiser to set up an interview appointment via Skype or Zoom; candidates who were accepted for 2020 should reapply for 2021 if they are still interested. All participants will be required to have been vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus in advance.

Period(s) of Occupation: Bronze Age Aegean, Minoan; 7th and 5th centuries BC, Greek

The Neopalatial town at Mochlos, dating c. 1700-1430 BCE, was an important trading and manufacturing center in the Late Minoan period, but it was also the location of a number of shrines that made it a center of pilgrimage. The site's ritual focus appears to have continued in the 7th century BC when an oikos house was erected on its summit.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 10 weeks

Minimum Age: 19

Experience Required: none

Room and Board Arrangements:
All members of the Mochlos team are provided with rooms in Mochlos, but volunteers must arrange for their own travel expenses and meals in the local tavernas.  Cost: $250.00 (non-refundable deposit for new volunteers to hold your place on the project); $0 for returning volunteers.

Contact Information:

Giorgos Doudalis (; Luke Kaiser (

Classical Studies Department, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Anthropology Department, University of Arizona

Greensboro, NC; Tucson, AZ

North Carolina; Arizona


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